Bishops of Clogher to speak at launch of Building Peace Locally Programme
Bishops of Clogher at launch of Building Peace Locally Programme

A local launch of the Rural Enabler Programme for County Fermanagh took place on Monday 25 October 2010 at 11am in the Townhall , Enniskillen. The keynote speakers were Dr. Johnston McMaster, Irish School of Ecumenics, and the Bishops of Clogher, Bishop Liam McDaid and Bishop Michael Jackson.

The programme, funded at £2.7 million, is a unique twelve county approach to supporting rural communities at a local level to identify and tackle the fears of reconciliation and anti-racism work supported at a regional level by the Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (DARD), the Department of Community, Equality & Rural Affairs (DCE&RA) and Irish Rural Link (IRL).

Neville Armstrong, Rural Enabler (Fermanagh) says ‘The County Fermanagh launch of the Rural Enabler Programme will be an opportunity to inform community groups, in particular, as well as other relevant organisations about the Rural Enabler Programme. It will also highlight to those attending how we, as Enablers, can support community groups on the ground and inform groups about our development grant scheme.’

‘The event took place in the Townhall Enniskillen with keynote speakers who are committed to finding practical ways to reducing rural sectarianism in an open transparent way. I know that the Rural Enabler Programme in Fermanagh will make a huge difference in promoting rural peace building on the ground while challenging people’s perceptions about spaces and traditions tied to one section of the community or another.’

Michael Hughes, Chief Executive Officer of RCN, said ‘The launch presents opportunities for rural communities across the county to develop their skills in addressing the very real issues of sectarianism and racism which continue to limit the development of our rural areas.’ Michael continued ‘With ongoing assistance from Neville, the Rural Enabler Programme provides new opportunities for rural communities to deal with past division and create a new inclusive society which is welcoming and encourages everyone to participate, contribute and benefit.’

The Programme will encourage peace building and social inclusion processes within a rural context, with a focus on what has and continues to be divisive rather than on polite avoidance of the difficult issues. It will explore, in particular, the dimensions of the issues across each of the seven following themes: Young People; Flags and Emblems; Housing; Interfaces; Racism and Community Relations; Community Development; and Rural Institutions.

For further information, contact Neville on

07738 449691 or Rural Community Network on 028 8676 6670.